Harambee Stars continued with their preparations ahead of their international friendly match against Mozambique on Sunday from 4pm at the Moi International Sports centre, Kasarani.
The team has been boosted by the arrival of all foreign-based players led by captain Victor Wanyama. Japan-based striker Michael Olunga is the latest arrival as he checked in on Wednesday and trained with the team Thursday. Zambia-based goalkeeper Ian Otieno is back in the squad as well as youthful fullback Yusuf Mainge who recently joined FK Pohronie in Slovakia.
Tusker defender Hillary Wandera, who has been impressive so far this season, also got his first call up as coach Francis Kimanzi continues the gradual restructuring of the team. Wazito defender Johnstone Omurwa, who was impressive in the friendly match against Uganda, is ill. His club mate Bernard Ochieng has been called up to fill in.
This will be Kimanzi’s second match in charge since he took over from Sebastien Migne and he is optimistic of getting a good result against a side that is 13 places higher than Kenya in the latest Fifa rankings. Kenya are in position 110 while Mozambique are 97th in the rankings released late last month.
“We are happy that most of the players have reported to camp. The team training sessions are good and if we keep the morale we will get a positive result,” he said.
Meanwhile, The Mambas are scheduled to arrive in Nairobi on Friday and will hold their first training session at Kasarani on Sunday afternoon.
Portuguese tactician Luis Goncalves, who was appointed in August to replace Victor Matine as head coach, has named a 20-man squad with left-back Reinildo Mandava who moved to French side Lille earlier this year perhaps the star of the team. Goncalves guided Mozambique to a 3-0 aggregate win over Mauritius in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers played last month.
The two teams are using this friendly to prepare for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations preliminary round qualifiers set to be played next month. Kenya will face Egypt away while Mozambique will be up against Rwanda and Goncalves believes the match against Harambee Stars will give them an idea of what to expect from Amavubi.
“We want to use this match to prepare the next two competitive games against Rwanda and Cape Verde. Kenya is an ideal team for us because they have same similarities with Rwanda. We also need to use this match to consolidate our team and continue growing. We have had more time together as a team this time and I believe we will play better,” Goncalves told reporters on Tuesday after a training session at the National Stadium in Maputo.
The last time the two teams met, Harambee Stars beat Mozambique by a solitary goal in a friendly match at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos in 2016.
Tickets for the match will be sold at a flat rate of Sh200 and will start retailing at 7am on match day outside Safari Park Hotel, at Gate 12 in Kasarani and Ngomongo Police Station.
Goalkeepers: Ian Otieno (Red Arrows, Zambia), Timothy Odhiambo (Ulinzi Stars), Faruk Shikalo (Yanga, Tanzania)
Defenders: Bernard Ochieng (Wazito), Harun Shakava (Nkana, Zambia), Joash Onyango (Gor Mahia), Yusuf Mainge (FK Pohronie, Slovakia), Hillary Wandera (Tusker), Erick Ouma (Vasalunds IF, Sweden), Joseph Okumu (IF Elfsborg, Sweden), Samuel Olwande (Kariobangi Sharks)
Midfielders: Anthony Akumu (Zesco United, Zambia), Abdallah Hassan (Bandari), Kenneth Muguna (Gor Mahia), Duke Abuya (Kariobangi Sharks), Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspurs, England), Clifton Miheso (Gor Mahia), Lawrence Juma (Gor Mahia), Cliff Nyakeya (FC Masr, Egypt), Whyvone Isuza (AFC Leopards)
Forwards: Michael Olunga (Kashiwa Reysol), Jesse Were (Zesco United, Zambia), Enosh Ochieng (Ulinzi Stars)
Goalkeepers: José Guirrugo (UD Songo), Franque (Ferroviário de Maputo)
Defenders: Zainadine Jr (Marítimo, Portugal), David Malembane (Dinamo Plovdiv, Buglaria), Francisco Muchanga "Chico" (Ferroviário de Maputo), Infren Matola (UD Songo), Edmilson Dove (Cape Town City, South Africa), Reinildo Mandava (Lille, France), Sidique Mussagy (Desportivo Maputo)
Midfielders: Stélio Ernesto "Telinho" (UD Songo), Manuel Kambala (Boroka, South Africa), Sataca Mussagy (Desportivo Maputo), Kamo Kamo (Vitória Setúbal Under-23, Portugal), Elias Pelembe "Dominguez" (BidVest, South Africa), Geny Catamo (Sporting Lisbon Under-19, Portugal)
Forwards: Amâncio Canhembe "Neymar" ( Vitória Setúbal Under-23, Portugal), Witness Quembo "Witi" (Nacional Madeira, Portugal), Luís Miquissone (UD Songo), Reginaldo Faite (Shakthar Karangandy, Kazakistan), Manuel Fernandes "Maninho" (Ferroviário da Beira).